Gargoyle’17 Dance Hall

Smiling faces crackled onto peeling Kodak paper.  Used up soft offers given as shouldered burdens by anti-ableist illiterate nonmakers.  Take her gum wrapped present in hand.  Holding that sucked 20 years from bubbling on any bed in a scheduled municipal demolition day.  Nana’s Republic is into main street bell ringing all the way from here until Dad shows me I am.  Huh, whatcha thinking?  That’s low for a shopper like you.  Artists make it from bottom to top.  My goodness! I don’t know, summer is right near 2018.


Harlen d’Officious

What comes over that girl?  Greedley orders chicken double dipped just when the Marsalis Family gathers Night Fever.

Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter
Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter

Don’t allow her to sit for any amount of time.

Sticky sweet tea and chocolate cake covers the new upholstery and seconds freshly lick plates crowding the back two rows.

Theatre rats want everything.  Do you see how they parked Lady Liberty in the Hudson?  She will not place one toe on Manhattan until every person there can earn very good food beyond paper plated grease without door service.

Harlem Gems

Have you visited Harlem this year?

Come for food, seeing with beautiful arms outstretched just waiting to embrace with friendly smiles and stimulating conversation.  Not everyone has their name emblazoned on a building, but those that do are stalwart, heavy weights worth a flight up or down to see what all the commotion is about.  The word about Harlem is and always has been to keep her beautiful.  So bring your sweet self here.

Oh, and don’t be so nosy that you sneak too many peeks at the monumental family outside Harlem Hospital on Lenox.  They saw you.  Yeah…that was you looking at a healthy black family.

They are beautiful.

Visit  twice, and then decide to remain among the good people here.

Photo by Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter.          Miss Nova Ford of Harlem.
Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter.   Miss Nova Ford of Harlem.


Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter.   Black Art by Ron.
Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter. Black Art by Ron.
Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter.   Adam Clayton Powell on 125th.
Photo credit: Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.  on my mind.

National Bookstore Day for the BookPeople Nation (Only at BookPeople)



Citizens of BookPeople Nation (that’s you!) we are pleased to announce a special day of fun, frivolity and bookish jubilation! Inspired by the success of California Bookstore Day, we here at BookPeople are devoting an entire day to celebrating everything we love about the wonderful world of books. This special day is ONLY happening at BookPeople, nowhere else in the country!

Mark your calendars forSaturday, August 16, the first ever National Bookstore Day for the BookPeople Nation! (Only at BookPeople.) 

We have many festivities planned! Bring the kids down for a Very, VERY Special Storytime! We’ll unveil the official BookPeople 100, a compilation of our booksellers’ best loved books of all time! We’ll test your lit wits with Literary Trivia! Awaken your inner poet with a Magnetic Poetry-A-Thon! Give you a sneak peek of new books coming out this Fall! Announce our Big Fall Author Event Line-Up! Introduce…

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Dr. Angelou


I wrote to you when I thought spare and clean could help restore a measure recognizable to one who cares.  Invisible ink and tears blowing up snot in certain circles to redbrick flour lining my steps and Daddy reeled because he knew.  I wrote and millers mud cake tainted boots, booked me on hot flights from that hell.  I wrote on crossed knee, engines swirling sciatically inferior, but I knew.  Dr. Angelou I licked greens in the forest, four years before I knew your light crackled creeks to swell heightening degrees.

Go.  Do not miss anyone else.

Thank you.


girl, 15

White House calls slaying of girl, 15, a terrible tragedy.

Hadiya’s brilliant pumpkin smile, warmly greets and breaks our hearts as we read the grim and terrible headline.  The City of Chicago, home to Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls, Bears and other brilliant children attempt to gather the broken pieces of their hearts.

I know that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel like the Mayor Daley’s before him and Mayor Harold Washington will not rest until he finds a real solution to the violence in Chicago.

I grew up blocks from Hadiya’s neighborhood.  I walked those streets while dancing to keep from being caught running from nasty nefarious punks that would roll along and offer rides to good little brown girls on their way to school or the park.  Smiling the entire time, I practiced Ali’s two-step.  Bobbing and weaving, in my mind the future was worth learning to leap from curb to curb.

I am here to tell you, I am mad like an epic whale jumping like Jordan toward God to say, THIS IS MY CITY–This here entire area was good land; the water and everybody in it from DuSable to the very last.

Mayor Rahm, I challenge you to make it safe for the kids.

We want to sneak out at midnight, under the watchful eye of the moon, and camp on the lakefront with only the quiet noise of a hungry owl disturbing our fun.

We want to run down our blocks with one raggedy sneaker on, and an open change purse with quarters flying toward the Good Humor truck, hoping & wishing he did not forget to hide one Creamsicle or a Bombpop underneath something, way, way in the back of the freezer.

CTA drivers that laugh at folks who don’t have the sense to know the bus schedule and not have to run at the last minute when the light is about to turn green, want up-and-coming jerks in the city to just sit down, and conduct themselves accordingly.

I believe Cleo Cowley wants the parks, and the city where Hadiya called home all her life to be safe for children again and forever.

Hair Dreams Fantastically Traveling Toward Satisfaction

What drives us to feed enablers of the Hair Industry?

Smoking hot combs, iced with Bergamot blue grease.  Heads of  burning hair and fashion magazines promising elegance in a jar of creamy, acid strong chemicals applied to virgin soft hair unappreciated by owners until the day nappy puffs sprinkle carpeted apartment lawns in protest.

Photographs of Diana Ross, Beyonce, Farrah and memories of corn silk soft hair possessively claimed with shouts of joy.  My grandmother’s curls do not cover my head naturally.  I have to pay, pay and pay to have something like hers intrinsically placed on my head.

Weaves, wigs and curling iron magic and still I want it.  I want it now.  I want it in the shower.  I want it after a hard ride with sweat pouring and my muscles attentive.

I want  ribbons of hair fantastically flowing from my scalp and rendering onlookers into trembling, jealous appreciators of what I have and they cannot from behind a floor to ceiling window overlooking Manhattan.

I want deep coils mirroring the intricate dance of intellectual thought on an Olympic scale.

Honeysuckle vanilla all in your nose, pinned against the nape of my neck.

Cashmere blankets and my fingers knitting toward “I cannot breathe” satisfaction.



Fish don’t use guns

Fish are smarter than humans.

Fish do not use, smuggle or trade hooks.  They don’t keep them under kelp beds or float around hiding behind coral waiting to hook another swimming neighbor.

Fish know just how far to stay away from certain underwater caves, because some kind of evil lurks there.  They know that larger than me, means I’m lunch.  The only cool thing about that is, a guppies energy becomes beneficial to the larger fish.  Human’s might think, “If it’s a shark eating the guppy, then golly gee!”  Nope, the guppy had plans for the entire day.  A day for a guppy cannot be measured by a watch.  A guppy goes out, taking a chance the entire time, but loving their life all the while.

Hooking one is not cool.

Guns are stupid.

We make up all sorts of reasons for needing them, when a well delivered, on the money, paragraph of words coupled with the implied suggestion of whatever incites passion will do.  You don’t even have to use expletives if you are well educated and familiar with good manners.

Too many have died because a gun was used.  Supporting laws that allow guns to remain in our communities, owned and operated by licensed or unlicensed people who would deprive us of a moments time with someone’s precious treasure: a child that perhaps was told the secret to deliver us all from this human disease of hating each other so much that we would cuddle with a cold piece of steel, protecting it with organizations and the fear of a losers vote, should be considered criminal and is insane.

We are wrong for loving guns more than our children.

Fish don’t like hooks, guns, bombs or chemicals that interfere with the quality of their life.  They would swim up, climb onto the beach just to protest in a very personal way, thinking the entire time, “Damn you humans.  My life is worth something!  This fish you will not eat!”

Come now, my fellow humans.  Can a gun, empty of bullets be recycled into metal that can be used for good?  Have we tried?  Do we care about our children?  Do we care about the future of humanity?

Annihilation is not the answer.

In the Spirit of Love Let’s Give

When I was a child, commercialized attempts to encourage my desire for things unrelated to the true Spirit of Christmas made the day nearly unbearable.  Cries from other children on our block, amid the sound of wrapping paper snatched from that year’s “must have” toy and the smell of food that I hoped was also being prepared in our empty kitchen introduced me to adult-sized disappointment.

This year especially, I would like you to consider the giving spirit of Christmas as something we can do everyday.  We can give without buying friends.  We can give without going into debt.  We can give without borrowing or selling merchandise that is made to break on the very date specified on the warranty.  We can give without continuing to reward retailers that do not pretend to be in the business of giving when they take and refuse to care about anything other than their quarterly dividends.

We can take the cost of 1 present and instead donate it to a worthwhile charity.  We can take the time spent in raging insanity that someone took the parking spot you idled and cussed through rounds and rounds of parking lot merry-go-round and help someone who you know, or don’t.  We can take the pain of swollen feet, bad food and the crush of crowds in malls and offer to go caroling or visit with or simply communicate with someone alive and in need of human contact and Love.

We can take the hours of false cheer on cable televised shopping channels with their “Special Today Only Values” and work on those dreams we deferred for cubicles and thinly veiled work contracts that only make us feel like wage slaves.

We can take the educations that we earned and are struggling to pay for and actually use them to help, not just ourselves, but others.  Be still and remember that education can spark new ideas that will help society, and our individual need to achieve dreams that our ancestors did not know existed.

Someday is today.  It’s Monday!

Let us get to work.

Song suggestion:  Mercy, Dave Matthews Band